The various steps described in this paper create different levels of difficulty in terms of widespread implementation. Whilst a robust framework exists at EU level, there is still a major gap in terms of implementation at national level. To overcome the described barriers, EPEE calls on policy makers to:
Promote an integrated approach Encourage synergies between heating and cooling such as heat recovery from cooling systems or the use of heat pumps that are able to provide heating and cooling. Encourage demand side management and thermal storage via heating and cooling systems to provide flexibility for the grid.
Inform, empower and motivate consumers Support the deployment of smart appliances by rewarding flexibility. Strengthen tools to raise awareness on energy efficiency (Energy Labels for buildings and products, metering, etc.).
Upskill installers Provide lifelong learning to keep up with technological de- velopments. Ensure the adaptation of the curriculum to match the in- dustry’s evolving needs. Better reflect the sector’s specificity in the NACE statisti- cal classification.
Reward sustainable investments Develop a framework to drive invest- ments into sustainable solutions for consumers, business and investors. Ensure sustainable public spending (taxation, electricity prices, subsidies) and put an end to subsidising fossil fuels. Encourage the optimum balance of in- vestment for efficiency improvements in the demand side and power in- frastructure in the supply side.
Implement and enforce EU laws Consolidate national heating and coo- ling plans, for example as part of the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) and/or the national long-term strategies. The national heating and cooling plans need to address both the full imple- mentation and enforcement of existing legislation and the design of adequate drivers to encourage and/or mandate an integrated approach of sustainable heating and cooling.